Togadia as been a known Modi-hater. The shrinking space of the VHP was further pushed towards irrelevance in the state for Modi downsized them.
Bhartiya Janata Party is facing a tough time due to a unique reason. A fierce leader of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), according to a report in Times of India, has allegedly asked its supporters to take control of Muslim houses and pelt stones on them too.
The leader in picture here is Praveen Togadia.
The Times of India reports: “Togadia joined a group of VHP and Bajrang Dal members on a street protest outside a house purchased by a Muslim businessman near Meghani Circle. While saffron groups have been regularly organizing ‘Ram Dhuns’ and ‘Ram Darbars’ to thwart such deals, Togadia went a step further by asking the protesters to take complete control of the house and put a ‘Bajrang Dal’ board on it.”
The report also claims that Togadia directed his gang of supporters that if the Muslim property owners don’t relent in 48 hours, they should be showered with stones, tyres, rotten tomatoes and all such weapons that can help save ‘Hindu’ land from Muslim land-sharks probably.
He also allegedly said that he has “done it in the past” where “Muslims have lost both property and money”.
The media is taking up this news with so much fervor as if a BJP karyakarta pelted stones on some houses. They are questioning BJP about Togadia’s alleged move and associating him with BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi when there is no apparent connection. Why should BJP be compelled to take a stand on what Togadia says?
First of all, the source of news cannot be trusted as it has been proven to give malacious content against Modi without any evidence or support (remember Modi-Rambo story from which ToI backtracked?) They are talking about the non-sense association but did not give any space to the legal notice that was sent to them by Togadia for the same news piece.
Also, Togadia has been a staunch opposer of Modi. In 2012 Gujarat assembly elections, VHP had pitted itself against Modi and BJP. Over three months, the outfit’s leaders and workers worked hard to increase the whatever negligible prospects Keshubhai Patel and Gordhan Zadaphia’s Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) had against Modi. They portrayed Modi as leading a divided Parivar in Gujarat to reduce his victory margin in terms of seats won. The idea was to scuttle his national ambitions.
But the results were catastrophic for the VHP. To its dismay, the outfit’s campaign ended up helping Modi correct his image outside Gujarat and even with some segments of the minorities. It won him massive support which is evident in any of his rallies today.
Zadaphia and his whole team lost the elections. Keshubhai Patel could win his seat but in the next elections there may be no GPP. Its symbol, the cricket bat, has been frozen because the party, even with the vociferous support of the VHP, did not get the required percentage of votes in the state assembly to be recognised as a regional party.
Before that, in the 2007 assembly election, Togadia was forced to stay out of Gujarat, which makes the fight personal too.
In April 2013, Togadia had said that Gujarat will be declared a “Hindu State” by 2015 for which Modi showed him his place. The shrinking space of the VHP was further pushed towards irrelevance in the state for Modi downsized them. The slow, but visible, tilt of of some segments of Muslims in Gujarat towards Modi coincides with marginalisation of the VHP in the state.
Modi has cultivated his good image with utmost care and that is why he coined the “India First” slogan. Togadia’s statement, if made by him at all, should not been seen in light with BJP of its leaders. And if media is so keen on playing it on loop, they should remember, all this façade by them has only helped Modi till now.